Dr Richard Heseltine is Librarian and Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning Support at The University of Hull (UK)

Projects and their Place in Digital Libraries

by Richard Heseltine


In the course of this paper I want to survey a wide range of initiatives which are being taken in the United Kingdom to promote what might loosely be termed the digital, electronic or virtual library. Taken together, these initiatives represent a significant effort to engineer real change through collective, systemwide action at the level of the Higher Education community as a whole. I believe that the UK experience is extremely instructive, and that while we sometimes think that the UK is less advanced in the application of digital technology to information processing than some other countries, in fact there are many positive lessons to be drawn from the way in which UK higher education has gone about its task.

It should be evident already that my real concern is not so much with individual projects as with wider programmes of action. The interventions I shall discuss represent only to a small extent a research effort, although research is not excluded. They are to a much greater extent attempts to push the higher education system as a whole in the UK towards new models of scholarly communication and of teaching and learning, models which take full advantage of the potential of digital technology, specifically of digital networks, but which are motivated by the need to adapt to a fast changing educational landscape. To use corporate language, our programmes are market driven, not research or technology driven.

Understanding the virtual library

Before I take up these themes in detail, it is worth spending some time thinking about our understanding of the virtual or digital library. In fact this is a concept about which I am very uneasy, since it seems to me that by retaining the word `library' we risk masking the real scope of what we are striving to achieve.

As I have said on other occasions (1), the common conception of the virtual library is often very conservative. The virtual library normally makes its appearance as a solution to the immediate problems of conventional libraries. It is seen as a way of bridging the growing gap between supply and demand so far as conventional document supply is concerned. The emphasis in debate on the need for a paradigmatic shift from holdings to access is illustrative of this. More often than not the virtual library is presented as little more than a giant resource-sharing mechanism. The conservatism of this approach lies in the failure to envisage any change in the environment within which information is being used, or in the purposes for which it is required. It is an approach rooted in the problems of today, not one which engages with the dramatically different educational landscape which will have to be negotiated in the future.

Whether we are talking about research or about teaching and learning, there can be little doubt that our existing systems of communication are failing. This is nowhere more evident than in libraries which can no longer meet the demand placed upon them for printed materials. A report published in 1993 jointly by the Royal Society, the British Library and the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers summed this up succinctly:

'The traditional concept of a well-founded library is no longer valid. It is no longer possible for a university or equivalent library to cater from its own stock for many of the needs of its users. This reduction in coverage and quality of book and journal collections is irreversible without large injections of money.'(2)

But we should not take this gap between supply and demand as our starting point. Instead we should look at the wider environment, specifically the higher education environment, the environment of teaching and research, and ask what changes are occurring there which might demand very different models of information provision.

It is normal to focus mainly on the needs of researchers, on models of scholarly communication, but I should like to begin by looking at teaching and learning and the needs of students.

The United Kingdom is undergoing a massive transformation of its higher education system. This is most obvious when seen in terms of the expansion of student numbers. Within a quite short space of time, we have moved from an elite system of higher education, in which participation rates could be measured in single figures, to a massified system which now absorbs some 30% of those completing secondary education at the age of 18. This huge increase in student numbers, much of it concentrated in the last five years, has been brought about without an equivalent increase in per capita student funding. In fact this `unit of resource' has been remorselessly driven down by successive Conservative governments. This has placed great strain on all universities, which have been forced to find more and more efficiency gains in order to compensate.

However, the increase in student numbers is only part of the story. What is occurring is a more profound change in the very nature of higher education. Already the profile of the student population has changed dramatically. There are, for the first time, more students over the age of twenty-one than under it. There are more and more part-time students. Learning is coming to be regarded as a lifelong activity, not something sandwiched between childhood and work. The range of qualifications providing access to higher education is being extended all the time, and students are becoming increasingly free to move from one institution to another, to be credited for prior experience and learning and to construct qualifications from multiple institutional sources. Distance learning is growing in importance, not only as universities enter a global educational market but as they become more integrated locally, entering into collaborative arrangements with local and regional businesses and with local and regional providers of secondary and further education. Indeed the boundaries between further education and higher education are becoming increasingly blurred, and the concept of a university having an identifiable physical location will break down as the campus becomes more and more virtual.

These are huge changes, and it is inconceivable that institutions will be able to undertake this level of change without constructing entirely new teaching and learning environments. Traditional approaches will simply not work in a massified system of higher education. What is required is not reform, but a radically different approach to all aspects of teaching, learning and assessment. It requires us to challenge fundamental assumptions about the purposes of higher education.

I cannot specify in detail what the teaching and learning environments of the future will look like, and in practice there will be a multiplicity of environments, reflecting institutional diversity and the differences between individual disciplines. Some general characteristics of the new environment can, however, be identified. I think that we shall move away from a pattern based on conventional teaching methods delivered in a fixed place at a fixed time, to a much more flexible system in which people learn how they want, when they want and where they want. Students will be independent, active learners, not passive recipients of teaching. They will make extensive use of technology in learning, and many of them will learn at a distance, from home or in the workplace, not on a campus at all. They will use an enormously wide range of learning resources: computer-based learning packages; printed open learning materials; networked information resources which they will seek out across the Internet, and books and other documents held in the library or resource centre. They will inhabit a much more diverse, richer information environment, and I think that there will be a convergence between methods of student learning and the conduct of research. We will need to think generally in terms of the creation of resource-rich learning environments, which will be utilised in ways which are much less predictable and much more user-driven than today.

I find this concept of a resource-rich learning environment much more helpful than that of the virtual library.

Turning to the needs of researchers, it is clear again that changes in the wider environment are driving a transformation of existing models of scholarly communication. Research is becoming a more specialised activity as individual universities increasingly recognise the financial impossibility of sustaining research activity right across the board in every institution. In some countries, as in the UK, this trend towards institutional specialisation is being deliberately forced by government policy. In many disciplines research activity is also being globalised, or at least regionalised across national boundaries as countries become politically, economically and culturally more integrated. The development of the European Union, which has led to the funding of a vast range of transnational research and development programmes, is an excellent example of this tendency. This trend applies just as much to the arts and humanities as it does to science and engineering.

In all disciplines there has also been an intensification of research effort, brought about by competitive pressures between universities and by the policies being pursued by many governments to assess the quality of the research output of institutions. Whatever one might think of this, it is producing both an increase in the level of research output and an acceleration of the pace of research.

These factors have together swept away the last vestiges of the cosy, tranquil world of scholarship which once prevailed. There is now no hiding place for the solitary academic. It is this transformation which underpins the accelerating demand for rapid, global communication facilities, and it is this new culture which explains the surge in the use of the Internet for communication purposes. However, technology plays a more direct role. The more digital technology is applied to research itself, the more the demand increases for networked access to the datasets produced in the course of that research. Again this applies with as much force in the arts and humanities as in the sciences. Arts and humanities scholars already have access, real or potential, to a huge range of electronic material in all formats: text, data, image, sound. Indeed it is humanities information which is capturing much of the mass commercial market, especially in the case of products aimed at children.

The use of the networks for communication and information retrieval is producing new patterns of scholarly communication. Indeed I am confident that we are on the verge of the most revolutionary change in the fundamental pattern of scholarly communication to have occurred since the invention of the learned journal in the 17th century. Signs of this have been around for some time, most obviously the phenomenal growth in the use of email, and the proliferation of closed discussion groups, within which so many information exchanges are now being conducted. Another example is the phenomenal success of the physics pre-print service at Los Alamos, which now accounts for half of the current literature in physics worldwide, and which has revolutionised the communication of scientific information in the world physics community. As Derek Law has mentioned in his paper, we are considering the creation of a similar service in the UK for the cognitive sciences. There is also a very rapidly growing interest among academics in electronic publishing. Knowledge of the ease with which the World Wide Web can be used as a publication medium is encouraging a very exciting upsurge of interest in novel publishing initiatives, often sponsored by people with little obvious grounding in technology.

The fact that the traditional model of academic communication, based on the printed journal, is in decline is therefore not only to do with the fact that libraries can no longer afford to subscribe to enough journals, but is more fundamentally an outcome of the need for different communication methods, which is in turn an outcome of the more intense, more competitive research environment which we now inhabit. It is a result of the recognition that network technology can deliver not just solutions to contemporary problems but a dramatically different, and superior, communication paradigm.

It follows from all this that we should not be investing in projects or programmes which attempt to prop up existing ways of doing things. Perhaps there is a case to be made for doing so in the short-term, but not as part of our strategic purpose. It is the same with teaching and learning. We should not be trying to sustain the existing system by using technology to administer short-term palliatives. What is required is the development of completely new learning environments which make full use of technology to do things differently and better.

The diminished role of the library

I have argued that we should not take the problems of the conventional library as our starting point when it comes to thinking about the future. This is underlined if we consider the ways in which the focus for the collection of information resources and for the organisation of access to these resources is shifting away from the library.

In the past, everybody needed to come to the library, both to gain access to the materials stored there and to use the bibliographic tools - catalogues and other indexes - which gave information about what the library possessed. Most of the latter activity, the access to metadata, can now be carried out from the desktop, and increasingly this is what is happening. The library does therefore experience some loss of control. It is no longer the institutional library which is at the centre of things, but the workstation on the desktop of the end-user. Furthermore, the electronic services offered by the library are only some among many of the information resources which the end-user can access. This has often been described in terms of a Copernican revolution. The end-user not the library is now at the centre of the information universe, and the library is just one among many resources in orbit around that user.

This decentralisation of access to information is of course another aspect of the more general decentralisation of computing, the personalisation of computing which has destroyed the Ptolemaic centrality of the mainframe.

There is another important sense in which the centre of gravity is moving away from the library. Traditionally the library has provided the organising focus for the collection and provision of access to information resources. Some of those functions are now being carried out at a national level, and I believe that this is a trend which will increase in importance. The ability of the higher education community in the United Kingdom to use top-sliced funds to act in the collective interest, to invest in infrastructure and common services, is a major strength. The mechanisms, and the central role of the Higher Education Funding Councils' Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), are described in detail in Derek Law's paper. The development of JANET and SuperJANET, which constitute perhaps the most advanced telecommunications network in the academic world, could not otherwise have occurred, and now we are seeing the creation of a whole range of value-added services. A sizeable portfolio of datasets is being assembled by the JISC, hosted at a number of different data centres, and we are beginning to make a reality of what Derek Law calls the national distributed electronic collection.

This movement towards national, community-wide provision applies not only to the collection of electronic material but to the organisation of access, the role previously fulfilled by the library catalogue. Subject gateways, such as the Social Science Information Gateway, are being funded to support resource discovery and access, as well as to provide a measure of quality control, and a feasibility study is currently underway into the creation of a UK development agency to provide a variety of services designed to support the use of networked information.

So when it comes to the provision of access to electronic information resources, we are seeing a movement both outwards to the end-user and upwards to the national level. The central role of the library both as a place and an organising focus is being diminished.

This is not all. I think that another shift of emphasis is taking place which is bringing the academic department into a more central organising role in the provision of information. Students need all kinds of information. They need details of modules and course pathways, timetables, a knowledge of assessment methods, examples of past examination papers, reading lists, as well as all sorts of learning materials and the means of locating them.

In the past this information has been produced, if at all, in a rather uncoordinated and haphazard way by a variety of different people within the university. Sharing such information - for example, sharing reading lists between lecturers and the library - has always been problematic. Two developments are changing this.

First there is now a national system of teaching quality assessment within higher education in the UK, which is encouraging a more systematic approach to the provision of student information. Second, there is the emergence of the World Wide Web as an increasingly ubiquitous publishing environment. This not only provides an opportunity to publish and distribute information relatively easily and more attractively than before, but also facilitates the linkage of information produced by different agencies within the institution. This means that a comprehensive package of information can be produced without quite as much need to agree or impose centralised mechanisms.

All of these examples demonstrate the way in which the centre of gravity is moving away from the conventional library. Clearly there are new roles which librarians themselves may take on, especially in terms of education and mentoring, but there is no doubt about the way in which the central position of the library, as a place and as an organisation, is being undermined. It emphasises how important it is to develop strategic thinking not in terms of conventional library provision but in terms of the development of an entirely different information environment.

Intervening for systemic change

I spoke at the beginning of this paper about the way in which we are trying to engineer real systemic change in information provision at the level of the higher education system as a whole. There are three main sources of new initiatives.

The first is the Information Services Sub-Committee (ISSC) of the Higher Education Funding Councils' Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). The ISSC, with a budget just short of 6 million per annum, is primarily concerned with the development of value-added services provided over the Joint Academic Network (JANET). Its activities are described in detail in Derek Law's paper. So far it has been mainly concerned with bibliographic services, and in this respect it has been stunningly successful. The basic principle of making services free to the end-user, subsidised by a combination of top-slicing the higher education budget and institutional subscription, has led to an enormous upsurge in the use of networked information resources.

The emphasis is now switching away from bibliographic data to other kinds of information resources. The creation of a national Arts and Humanities Data Service, which will organise access to a very wide range of electronic resources in these fields, and the proposed creation of a national Image Data Resources Centre, are excellent examples of this policy trend, and I shall have more to say about these initiatives later.

The second principal source of innovation is the Higher Education Funding Councils' Teaching and Learning Technology Programme (TLTP), which has provided almost 40 million distributed among seventy-six projects to develop courseware in different subject area. Once again the emphasis has been on the development of products capable of systemwide implementation, and many of these are now coming on stream. I believe that in the creation of new learning environments, there needs to be a much closer dialogue between those who are interested in electronic information services and the learning technologists.

The other big change agent is the JISC's Electronic Libraries Programme, or ELib. This is one of the outcomes of the Follett Report, which was published towards the end of 1993 following a major review by the Funding Councils of university library provision.(3)

The Follett Report can be criticised for many of the reasons which I outlined earlier. In essence it took as its starting point the contemporary problems of conventional libraries, rather than envisioning a completely different learning environment. As a result its IT-based recommendations tend to be limited in scope to efforts to promote a paradigmatic change from holdings to access. Nevertheless, large amounts of money are being allocated to the implementation of the recommendations of the Follett Report, and in the case of IT this amounts to some 20 million. Responsibility for the design and implementation of the ELib programme has been given to a specially-created JISC sub-committee known as the Follett Implementation Group on IT (FIGIT), which is seeking in a very conscious way to use the programme to engineer fundamental systemic and cultural change.

Underlying principles of programme management

In the course of developing both the JISC datasets policy and TLTP, a number of important lessons have been learnt about the selection, implementation and management of projects. These lessons are now being applied to the ELib programme and to related initiatives.

An important point in this respect has been made by Derek Law in his own paper, namely that programmes are best devised and managed by groups of like-minded colleagues rather than by explicitly representative committees.

Of course, committees such as the ISSC and FIGIT do reflect the full institutional diversity of the higher education sector, and they would lack credibility if they did not. However, the members of these committees do not represent either their own institutions or particular constituencies in any formal sense. All of the individuals who serve on these committees do so in a personal, voluntary capacity. This arrangement is admittedly open to criticism, and there are some voices raised against what are seen as self-perpetuating oligarchies. My answer to this criticism is that the system we have developed seems to work, and that at times of rapid change a more directive approach may be necessary. I call it leadership.

Our approach is also firmly rooted in a desire to create practical services capable of delivering real benefits to large parts of the higher education system. Projects which we fund must be capable of making a national impact or of being scaled up to provide national services. Of course, research has its place, and we are interested in testing different approaches, but we believe that progress, especially in the direction of real cultural change, is best brought about by offering people practical benefits, so that they can see for themselves the advantages of doing things differently.

It follows from this that most of the projects we fund are aimed at large-scale markets. The aim is to diffuse the benefits of networked information as widely as possible and as quickly as possible. We recognise the arts and humanities community as one of these major constituencies of users.

The policy is not, however, simply one of handing out funding to deserving cases. An element of competition is fundamental to the process. All major projects are awarded to institutions on the basis of what amounts, to a greater or lesser extent depending on the circumstances, to competitive tendering, in which value for money is the principal criterion in the selection.

Let me give two examples of the way in which this procedure has operated. The most straightforward example relates to the development of the datasets policy. The ISSC takes responsibility for the acquisition of new datasets, and having done so invites bids from institutions to host these datasets. As a result we now have a number of major institutional service providers. These service providers then become partners in a contractual relationship with the Funding Councils which is administered by the ISSC.

The management of the ELib programme has been slightly more complex, but I think it offers excellent precedents. The intention has always been to develop a managed programme. We did not want simply to fund a diversity of discrete projects. We wanted to develop a programme in which all the individual projects related to each other in a coherent way. This meant that the design of the programme was in large measure predetermined, not an outcome of bids received, although of course its content was influenced by the input received from institutions.

The first step was to issue a framework document which described the aims and objectives of the programme, and which invited institutions to submit expressions of interest in participating in the various programme areas. The mechanics of this are important. We did not ask for complete bids, partly to ensure that institutions did not waste time preparing inappropriate bids, but mainly to enable us to use the process to refine our thinking about the programme. The maximum length of an expression of interest was therefore limited to four pages. We received some 350 expressions of interest, and these were considered by a series of groups set up for the purpose, combining FIGIT members and other individuals with expert interests in the particular programme areas. This led to a refinement of the programme framework, and a focussing in on a limited number of expressions of interest. In some cases efforts were made to bring institutions together which shared interests in order to develop consortium-based projects, and this was in line with a general and well-established tendency in the support of projects by the Funding Councils to favour consortia.

The next stage was to invite full proposals, refined according to the judgements reached at the expression of interest phase. Only a limited number of institutions or consortia were invited to submit full proposals. These were then rigourously evaluated, with particular emphasis on value for money and ability either to deliver national services or to make a serious cultural impact. The immediate result was the funding of around 35 projects in five main areas: electronic document delivery; on-demand or customised publishing; access to networked information resources; digitisation, and training and awareness. A number of activities have also been funded in an area known as supporting studies.

These projects are now beginning to be implemented, and it is too soon to speak about their progress. But two other elements of the approach to the ELib programme should be stressed.

First, we have given great attention to effective project management. Training in project management skills is being provided to all programme participants, and they will be obliged to show evidence of good practice. In addition all projects are being provided with management committees whose membership is drawn from FIGIT itself and from other individuals with an expert interest in the projects concerned. There is no question of doling out money to projects and letting them get on with it. This approach is now mirrored in the case of services funded by the ISSC. For example, all institutions hosting datasets are required to have performance indicators and to report to management committees appointed by the ISSC.

Second, a high priority is attached to evaluation. Programme participants themselves have been required to build evaluative criteria into their project plans, and in some cases external evaluation will be funded. In addition work has been commissioned to evaluate the impact of the programme as a whole. I suspect that it is all too rare for programme evaluation to be considered at the beginning rather than the end of the process.

I mentioned earlier two specific JISC initiatives which are of particular interest to the arts and humanities community: the establishment of an Arts and Humanities Data Service, and the proposal to create an Image Data Resources Centre. I would like to describe these in a little more detail.

The Arts and Humanities Data Service

The establishment of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS) arose from a feasibility study commissioned by the ISSC. Much of the following account is taken from the report by Burnard and Short which was produced as a result of the study.(4)

Developments in information technology are clearly having a major impact on humanities research and teaching. The opportunities arise in particular from the rapid increase in the number, variety and accessibility of electronic datasets which are being created in the course of research and teaching. Electronic datasets are being produced across the whole range of humanities disciplines, covering both primary and secondary materials in a wide variety of formats: text, data, image, sound and multimedia. At the same time, as a result of institutional information technology strategies, the number of teachers and researchers who are equipped to take advantage of these resources is steadily increasing, as is the recognition of their value in exploratory, resource-based learning.

However, a number of problems stand in the way of these developments. Users remain dependent on specific hardware or software, which makes it difficult to archive datasets effectively and to ensure their reusability. The documentation of datasets is often inadequate. The location of relevant resources remains highly problematic in the absence of effective resource discovery tools. Access tools are frequently incompatible and complex. Insufficient attention is paid to data preservation, and institutional support is often lacking.

The AHDS is designed to help overcome these barriers to the use, reuse and preservation of electronic datasets. It is intended that the service as a whole should undertake the following activities (5):

* identification of user needs;
* creation and acquisition of data sets;
* development and promotion of standard data formats;
* documentation of data sets;
* development of a comprehensive catalogue of resources;
* development and promotion of suitable tools for resource discovery and manipulation;
* archiving of resources;
* protection of the rights of data providers;
* promotion of the use of datasets in both research and teaching.

However, it will be a highly distributed service. At the centre will be the AHDS Executive, which will carry out the generic functions such as the promotion of standards and the provision of a catalogue of resources, and which will have responsibility for the overall management of the service. In addition there will be a series of discipline-specific Service Providers, and these will be responsible for the acquisition, preservation and provision of access to resources, and will provide direct support to users.

Following a competitive bidding process, King's College London has been selected to host the AHDS Executive, and it is hoped to appoint a Director by the end of September. In addition a large number of institutions have submitted expressions of interest in becoming Service Providers, and some of these have already been invited to submit full proposals.

The AHDS should begin to become operational towards the end of this year. As it develops it is expected to provide many of the benefits anticipated in the feasibility study, in particular (6):

* transferability and re-usability of expensive data resources;
* a framework for the creation of complementary and linkable datasets;
* coordinated and coherent procedures for the investigation and adoption of relevant standards in data preparation, documentation, preservation and dissemination, and for involvement in European or international initiatives to create new standards;
* a framework and procedures to ensure the long-term availability of electronic datasets;
* faster and better-informed access to remote datasets by individual researchers, teachers and students;
* wider awareness and understanding of new access mechanisms and manipulation tools, thereby ensuring more efficient use of national and international resources.

The Image Data Resources Centre

The proposal to create an Image Data Resources Centre (IDRC) has also arisen from a feasibility study commissioned by the ISSC.(7) The motivation for this study was the recognition that there is a wealth of digital image resources which are of great potential value to the higher education community but that there are many barriers to their widespread use. In particular: images are intrinsically difficult to manage and retrieve; image collections are proliferating without coordination, and technical standards and copyright issues are complex. However, digitisation and networking offer access and coordination opportunities which did not exist before.

The core proposal is that there should be a centrally funded Image Data Resources Centre to promote and coordinate the development of distributed networked image resources for the benefit of the UK HE community as a whole.

It is recommended that the IRDC should coordinate or carry out the following functions (8):

* develop a national infrastructure for access to and interchange of image resources;
* provide a metadata facility for navigation and location of images in the distributed environment;
* identify key image resources in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) which are of sector wide interest, and operate support and funding mechanisms to enable host institutions to make them available;
* engage in research and development in order to maintain a leading edge position;
* promote good practice and technical standards;
* negotiate with suppliers on licensing and pricing and manage schemes where appropriate;
* advise HEIs on matters relating to technical issues, copyright and licensing;
* promote and provide where appropriate training and staff development activities;
* liaise with key central bodies, funding agencies, professional bodies and network suppliers.

As with the AHDS, the intention is that image banks themselves should be provided by HEIs on a service basis within the agreed infrastructure, and that there should be a competitive funding programme administered by the Centre to enable selected image banks in HEIs to be made available to the community. Only in very limited circumstances would the Centre itself manage and maintain image banks.

These proposals are now under active consideration by the ISSC and the JISC itself, and there is every likelihood that sufficient funding will be forthcoming to take forward a major initiative along the lines envisaged.

Concluding remarks

The accounts given above of the AHDS and the IDRC bring together many of the themes developed in this paper. The emphasis in the UK is on the provision of national services, and not on self-contained institutional projects of a primarily research orientation. We are always seeking approaches which can be generalised across the entire HE community. Projects tend not to be one-off initiatives but parts of wider programmes with clear aims and objectives of their own.

The principal mechanism for making a reality of the digital library or, as I would prefer to think of it, for creating resource rich learning environments, is through collective action at a systemwide level, allied to firm leadership. At a decisive point of educational and technological change, I believe that strategic investment at a national level, based on a clear vision of the future, is vital if we are going to make significant progress.

At the same time, this has to be a rigourously managed process. Otherwise it risks becoming an ill-directed exercise in wishful thinking. One way of promoting a concern for value-for-money is through the competitive bidding process which underpins the funding of projects or services. This is then allied to the application of performance indicators or other evaluative criteria, and to independent managerial scrutiny of funded initiatives.

I believe that the progress being made in the UK is significant, and that the way in which we have gone about our task is instructive. In summary, our projects are expected to be services, and our services are intended to help bring about fundamental systemic and cultural change. We are fortunate in the UK to have the mechanisms in place to follow this course.


1. Heseltine, R., A critical appraisal of the role of global networks in the transformation of Higher Education. Alexandria, 1994, vol.6, no.3, pp.159-71.

2. The scientific, technical and medical information system in the UK. A study on behalf of the Royal Society, the British Library and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers. London: The Sponsors, 1993 (British Library R&D Report 6123).

3. Joint Funding Councils' Libraries Review Group, Report [Chairman: Sir Brian Follett]. Bristol: The Higher Education Funding Councils, 1993.

4. Burnard, L. and Short, H., An Arts and Humanities Data Service: report of a feasibility study commissioned by the Information Services Sub-Committee of the Joint Information Systems Committee of the Higher Education Funding Councils. Oxford, Office for Humanities Communication, 1994.

5. Ibid, pp.7-8

6. Ibid, p.9

7. Collier, M., Proposal for an Image Data Resources Centre: the report of the Imaging Scoping Study carried out for JISC by De Montfort University. Unpublished JISC document, August 1995.

8. Ibid, p.3.